Tulsa Native May Be Next Survivor
by Rita Sherrow
August 2, 2005
World Television Editor
A 24-year-old Tulsa native will be introduced to the International television audience next month when he competes for $1 million on "Survivor: Guatemala, The Mayan Empire", insiders say.
Blake Towsley will be one of 18 contestants trying to "Outlast, out smart and outplay" the competition when the new installment of "Survivor" debuts at 7 PM Sept. 15 on CBS, channel 6.
Although the network is not scheduled to announce the names of the participants until next week, reports have Towsley, son of Tulsa physician D. Kent and his wife Denise Towsley, as part of the 11th season of the reality series.
Towsley's name first surfaced on survivorfever.com, a Web site dedicated to the reality series that has been uncannily correct in its information about the show.
Neither Towsley nor his parents could be reached to confirm his participation on "Survivor". A spokesman for Kim Dawson Talent Agency, which represents Towsley in his modeling career, said "we aren't even supposed to know where he is."
And co-workers at Henry S. Miller Commercial real estate in Dallas, where Towsley is a broker, said they knew Towsley was taking a leave of absence from his job, but assumed the leave was so he could do a modeling job.
According to the survivorfever Web site, Towsley is a 2000 graduate of Cascia Hall, where he competed in doubles tennis from 1998 to 1999. He earned his degree in political science from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and served as president of Interfraternity Council.
Now living in Dallas, Towsley augments his job as a broker with a second highly successful career as a model. He was discovered in the Fahion!Dallas fresh face talent search conducted by the Kim Dawson Agency. As one of the agency's models, he has appeared in numerous ads for Dillard's and other national and local accounts.
He's listed as single, 6 foot 1 with brown hair and brown eyes and wears a "Live Strong" Lance Armstrong bracelet.
Towsley's skydiving instructor at Skydive Dallas says he is the kind of guy who could have a shot at winning the show's $1 million prize.
He's very down to earth and just a nice easygoing guy" said David Catteeuw, a United States Parachute Association-certified instructor who gave Towsley his initial training as well as his advanced training instruction.
"I think he's got the go and he's one of those kind of guys everyone likes. I think he'd have a pretty good shot at it," said Catteeuw. "He has the smarts to do it and definitely deserves to (win)."
Catteeuw said Towsley was an easy student who probably has 80 to 100 jumps to his credit and is licensed as a skydiver.
"He's one of those fun-loving guys," Chatteeuw said in a phone interview. "He's also pretty, but he's not fluffy - not the kind of guy who is always checking his hair. Once he gets into it, he just goes and has fun.
Towsley also received praise from his co-workers at the Dallas real estate company.
"He worked in our land division where he started out as an intern and became a broker," said co-worker Cathy Powell in a recent phone interview. "He's such a wonderful, wonderful young man. He's just a sweetheart. We love him and we miss him."
Vickie Wiltcher, who also works for the commercial realty company, was equally supportive.
"He has a great personality, great moral character and he's a real sweetheart," said Wiltcher in a phone interview. "Yes, he has what it takes to win."
The 11th version of "Survivor" is wrapping up its 39-day shoot at the Yaxha Mayan ruins in the Yaxha-Nakum National Park, the District of Peten in Guatemala, Central America, according to survivorfever.com.
According to the website, also among the "Guatemala" cast are three models, a former NFL quarterback-turned-real estate developer, a student who runs a college outdoor leadership training program, an attorney and two former "Survivor" contestants.
This isn't the first tie Oklahoma has been represented on "Survivor". In 2004, Scout Cloud Lee of Stillwater finished in the top three of "Survivor: Vanuatu - Islands of Fire."
Lee, an author, motivational speaker and former university professor, outlasted 15 other contestants who had spent more than a month on a volcanic island in the southwest Pacific.
* Note from SurvivorFever.net: Blake's photo first surfaced at SurvivorThoughts. Survivor Phoenix first reported his identity. http://www.survivorfever.net/s11_blake_tulsa_world_8_2.htmlhttp://www.tulsaworld.com/